Published Feb 01, 2005Poor, tired Christian Slater watches his career slide further into the abyss with this ridiculous shocker based on a videogame. He plays Edward Carnby, a tortured soul whose childhood was spent enduring an evil scientist's occult experiments and who now lives to protect the earth from the good doctor's misdeeds; this proves difficult, as the villain has unearthed an ancient chest that releases the obligatory monstrous evil. Needless to say, the other lab rats become zombie killers, big black monsters start chewing people up and generally speaking, all hell breaks loose.
You're screwed two ways with this movie. If the insanely convoluted back-story doesn't kill you with its impenetrable Von Daniken pseudo-science, you'll be finished off by the sub-Universal horror stick figures that clutter the foreground. By now we should be spared the umpteenth secret government bureau devoted to paranormal whatever, and the mad scientist playing God, and the useless girl (Tara Reid) who stands around looking pretty although it might help if director Uwe Boll could light something so that we could actually see it and the dialogue that sounds like illiterate subtitles for a bad foreign film.
Directors should be warned that what viewers will accept in a first-person shooter is not what they generally want from a movie. A dumb game story is merely the flimsy pretext for blowing things up; a dumb movie story is the main event of two hours of torture. And they don't get much more tortuous than Alone in the Dark. The public screening I attended was peppered with laughter at the film's expense, so maybe it will work as a comedy; taken on its own terms, it's nearly unwatchable. Time to light a candle for Christian. (Alliance Atlantis)